Doctors in Mumbai have reported cases of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) and chicken pox, common viral illnesses that usually affects infants and children younger than five years of age.
On Wednesday, a nine-monthold child f rom Muscat was detected of HFMD, an infection, which results in mouth sores and rashes on the skin. “The child has a history of travel in the northern parts of the country before coming to Mumbai,” said Dr Sameer Sadawarte, pediatrician, Fortis Hospital, Mulund, who is treating the child.
Doctors said they have seen many HFMD cases in the past one week. “We have treated four children in the past week with HFMD. As there is no specific treatment, the patients are put on treatment to relieve their symptoms,” said Dr Sadawarte adding that many children would get better even without medical intervention and hence, very few cases actually reach the hospital.
Chicken pox cases, too, were reported in the city. “We are not seeing any cases as of HFMD, but chicken pox cases are on the rise,” said Dr V Yewale, who runs a children’s hospital in Vashi.
“Parents should avoid sending their children outside to arrest the transmission of the contagious disease.”
Doctors said hot and humid climate is conducive to the growth and the transmission of the group of virus, which causes HFMD. Usually cases are witnessed in September and October when the monsoon is receding. “Most doctors as well as parents confuse HFMD with chicken pox, as the symptoms of both ailments appear similar,” said Dr Nitin Shah, senior pediatrician, PD Hinduja Hospital.
Dr Rohit Agarwal, paediatrician, who runs a clinic in Ghatkopar said that he is treating eight to ten cases of chicken pox every week.
“Many parents have started vaccinating their children for chicken pox, which has reduced the overall burden,” he said.